Supporters of new anti-bullying legislation gathered outside of the Wilson Building Thursday.
The Bullying and Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011, introduced in the D.C. Council Thursday, calls on D.C. schools, libraries and recreation centers to create anti-bullying policies, and enforce a set of consequences for bullying behavior. Ward 5 council member Harry Thomas co-sponsored the bill.
"Bullying is going away in D.C.," says Thomas.
D’Angelo Morrison, 20, certainly hopes so. He’s gay, and says he used to face harassment every day back when he was in high school.
"I felt weird. Ugly. Unimportant. And most of all, depressed," he says.
The bill is an important step, he says. But he's also looking to the people on the front lines –- parents, teachers and students -– to make the biggest difference.
"If a student is calling another student a name, a teacher needs to raise their hand and say, 'hey, you’re not going to do this in my classroom,'" he says. "And if another student sees a student getting bullied, he or she should say something as well."
Thomas introduced a similar bill last year but the council session ended before it was passed.